How one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself. Follow Kimber as she shares her journey to loving her body, the joys and sorrows of yoga teaching, and venturing into the wilderness of writing and publishing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love Your Body Blog Part 10: Manifest your inner demon slayer! (Or at least someone who throws banana peels on the floor in front of them.)

Sure, you might be thinking, negotiating with my inner demon is all well and good, but to successfully deal with my inner demon in the long run, I need more than just tea parties. Demons don’t play fair. You’re right, you need someone who’s got your back. You need an inner best friend. Perhaps you already have one… but whether or not your inner best friend is already lurking somewhere in the back of your mind, the exercise here will bring her (or him!) center stage.

Let me be clear. You need an inner best friend who is really a best friend. Someone who will watch your back, not stab it. Not Leona Helmsey, or Phyllis Schlafly, or some mean girl best friend who’s going to trip you in front of your whole family on the way up to the wedding altar. Not a frenemy. We have enough of those in our real lives, we don’t need to make them up inside our heads. Your real life best friend may or may not be a good example to base your inner best friend on. Don’t worry, connecting to your inner best friend shouldn’t threaten your actual relationships. In fact, it’s likely to make them stronger and more resilient.

My inner best friend is a diva. Glamorous, ageless, voluptuous, jaded but kind. Compassionate and hilarious. She thinks I’m gorgeous, and knows exactly when to remind me of it. She thinks anyone who disagrees with her on this point is an idiot and will proudly tell them where their head is stuck. She’s an endless source of richocheting zingers, (never directed against me, always designed to amuse or wake up) and prefers to be referred to as Goddess. She loves cupcakes with pink frosting and iridescent sprinkles. She is shameless, unafraid to draw attention to herself, and me, when she’s got some wild observation to share, and will get me choking with laughter in no time flat.

Perhaps you’re asking yourself, is Kimber seriously suggesting I come up with an adult imaginary friend? My response is: if you have an inner critic, an inner demon, an inner judge, even an inner Greek chorus echoing a constant refrain of your mistakes and your inadequacies, then yes, you need an inner best friend. Use your imaginative powers for good, not (just) evil. Why the hell not? You need some back up.

Time to get out your journal. Close your eyes and imagine your inner best friend. What do they look like? Where are you seeing them, in your mind’s eye? How do they greet you, with a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a squeal and a spin? This best friend already knows your secrets, wouldn’t dream of betraying them, but would listen to you, nodding and comforting, for hours. She sees the beauty and strength in you always, and is ready to remind you of your best self whenever you forget. She remembers your secret triumphs and your deepest wounds, and is ready to cheer or console as your mood requires. She’ll tell you your detractors are long-tongued, babbling gossips, and also assure you there’s no reason you should take it personally.

Your inner best friend also doesn’t put up with self-pity. She’s compassionate, but won’t let you wallow in negativity. She can also be piercingly honest, clearing away the bullshit, and letting you know she loves you the whole time. Trust her to know your heart. Trust her to defend you against inner and outer insults and injuries. She knows the pen is mightier than the sword, and that to laugh and walk away is sometimes the most powerful stance of all.

Imagine all of your most idealized best friend qualities, embodied in one being who lives in your own head. She’s with you all the time, everywhere, you have only to remember her to invoke her uplifting presence. When your inner demon acts up, breaks the rules, smashes the china, introduce them to your best friend, and let her set the boundaries and wave her magic wand. You might be surprised: she may have tricks for dealing with your inner demon you never dreamed of. Get to know her, and vow to be BFF-blood-sisters-pinky-swear-hope-to-die. Make up a secret handshake. Then, when your inner demon isn’t satisfied to wait outside the door, ask, what would my inner best friend do? And proceed knowing she’s got your back.

Next post: Your growing arsenal against the inner demons. Beyond tea and cookies.